By Margaret McKenzie, FMWRC Public Affairs
ALEXANDRIA, Va. --
Ten of the 25 issues submitted to the General Officers Steering
Committee (GOSC) through the Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) process
were listed as completed at the GOSC conference June 5.
The issues completed or resolved were: dental services for
retirees overseas; nonsubsidized reserve component group health and
dental insurance; reserve component retired pay; leave accrual;
enlisted promotion points submission; temporary lodging for single
servicemembers with partial custody/visitation; shortage of
professional marriage and professional counselors; staffing to support
the physical disability evaluation system; Army Community Service
manpower and funding; and funding for the exceptional family member
program respite care.
Most of the issues were reflective of the mobilization and
deployment operational tempo, Army Transformation, and the Army's
commitment to provide a better quality of life for military members
and their families.
In his opening remarks, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren
thanked everyone for the work they do to support the AFAP process.
"This is a critical time in the life of the Army,"
Geren said. "The contributions that you are all making are
shaping our Army so that it works for the entire Army Family.
I want to thank you very much for all you've done and look
forward to continuing to work with you to advance your initiatives.
"This process is detailed and occasionally tedious,"
Geren said. "But this is the type of effort that's necessary in
order to work through these issues and make them work for Soldiers'
He went on to thank the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and his
wife, Gen. Richard and Mrs. Vicky Cody, for the contributions they
have made to the health of Army Families as part of the initiative to
improve Army quality of life.
"Our Army could not have two greater champions for
Soldiers and families than you and Vicky, so thank you for your
extraordinary work and leadership," he said.
is the eighth and last AFAP conference that Cody will chair. Under his
watch, 53 issues have been completed, resulting in nine legislative
changes, 21 Department of Defense or Army policy changes, and 22
improved programs or services.
of the changes that the AFAP GOSC closed while Cody was the chair
include: separate dental and vision insurance options for civilian
employees; the implementation of family readiness support assistants
to the battalion level, Armywide; access to military installations for
family care plan providers; and expansion of education benefits for
surviving spouses, to name just a few.
Cody also saw the inclusion of the Army Teen Panel and Wounded
Warriors as active participants in the Army Family Action Plan
"You all have been great scouts on behalf of our families
and our Soldiers and our civilians, active, guard and reserve, during
a very historic time for our Army," Cody said.
"Six years at war with an all volunteer force -- those of
us who came in during the Vietnam War scratched our heads and said,
'An all volunteer Army?' but
look at where we've come.
The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command in
Alexandria, Va., oversees the AFAP program and sustains and maintains
the ongoing AFAP process.
In its 25th year of giving a voice to issues affecting Soldiers
and families and the civilians who serve, AFAP addresses real time
concerns and continues to re-examine programs and processes and
recommend changes that are flexible, responsive, and timely to the
needs of Soldiers and families.
Empowering Soldiers and families through the AFAP process will
continue to raise the bar for Army standards of living. Tailoring the
AFAP process to the unique requirement of the Army National Guard and
the U.S. Army Reserve will create real-time solutions for concerns
that their Soldiers and families face, as well.
The next GOSC meeting, conducted concurrently with the
worldwide AFAP conference, is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2009.